Expected EU data breach rules draw fire before their release

The planned Internet security strategy is attacked by industry, privacy groups

European Commission proposals for a strategy on cybercrime have come under fire before they have even been released.

The Commission is due to present its plan for a European Strategy for Internet Security on Wednesday, but Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes has already said that under the proposals, E.U. member states will be asked to guarantee minimum capabilities to respond adequately to threats.

According to media reports, the plans could include forcing all companies that store large amounts of data, such as search engines, social networks, e-commerce sites and cloud service providers, to report data breaches or face sanctions such as fines.

Currently, the European Union's 27 member states have their own national laws on data breach notification for such companies, although telephone transport and utility companies are required to report any theft of sensitive information. There are also more limited security breach disclosure provisions in the draft Data Protection Regulation.

"Prompt reporting means competent national authorities can react quickly to incidents and minimize their impact. We'll need to share critical information in a secure and confidential manner: within and between public and private sectors. CERTs and other competent bodies need to exchange regularly and rapidly, to warn and assist," Kroes said when she outlined her plans last March.

Industry leaders warned Thursday that extending the scope of reporting mandates could harm businesses. The plan "could subject a wide array of industries to sweeping new regulation, and appears to mandate technology standards largely written by government, not industry," Liam Benham of IBM Europe said in a statement.

Meanwhile, digital civil liberties group EDRi said that the draft proposal was "totally misguided" and "an attempt to militarize security in cyberspace."

Kroes said last March that Internet security cannot be left to the national security agencies. But EDRi said on Thursday that a directive "that encourages one single agency to acquire primacy in each member state would undermine the constitutional arrangements that various states currently have for separation of powers and accountability."

"Instead of pulling together police forces, CERTs and service providers, ENISA seeks to set up a classified network of military and intelligence agencies. It is a tragedy that the European Union is now considering following this U.K.- and U.S.-centric policy lead," said the organization.

EDRi also warned that extending the scope of data breach notification rules would give the managing agency access to "sufficient information from almost everyone online" adding that this would surely be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags regulationeuropean commissionsecuritydata breachgovernment

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?